4G networks from Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) will be available in multiple parts of the country by the end of this year. The state-run telco is planning to strategically launch 4G networks in high-population and urban locations to make the most of its investment. BSNL has been working in harmony with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and C-DoT (Centre for Development of Telematics) to roll out 4G.
The PoC process is already over, and the indigenous 4G solution from BSNL has been a success. But a wide-testing of the networks is left, and that will kick off in August 2022 in Kerala and most likely other states as well. BSNL plans to launch 4G networks in multiple states by December 2022.
But the question is, will it be enough for the state-run telecom operator to turn things around?
BSNL has the Least Subscribers in the Telecom Market in India
When it comes to mobile services, BSNL has the least users compared to the private telecom operators. 4G launch should help with adding new subscribers fast, but it might not be enough for BSNL to keep adding new customers in the long run.
While the tariffs might be on the cheaper spectrum, the network service quality is something that the users would look out for. Things have changed, and now data experience has become a primary factor for most people when choosing a network service provider.
If BSNL can’t provide high-quality network services, its 4G launch wouldn’t make a huge impact. Users might keep their BSNL SIM as a secondary option just to keep another SIM active on their device while the private telecom operators keep hiking tariffs.
Most people would prefer paying more to a private telecom operator for better network services rather than just going after cheaper tariffs from BSNL.
5G Should be on the Books Soon
BSNL should not make the mistake of delaying the 5G launch for another few years. The state-run telco’s 4G networks are coming when all the private telcos are shifting towards 5G. This mistake must not be made by BSNL again.
With 5G, there are new streams of revenue possible. Thus, with an accelerated 4G launch, BSNL should also keep 5G in the books for 2023 itself. According to some officials, BSNL is, in fact, eyeing launching 5G networks in 2023, but the thing is, all words are empty promises until executed.
So, in simple words, while 4G will help BSNL with growing the business, it won’t be enough to turn things around in the medium-to-long term. The state-run telco desperately needs to go after the 5G launch as well.